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Words of Faith, March '13

posted Mar 2, 2013, 9:23 AM by Faith Lutheran

The Pastor’s Message

By Rev. Nick Henseler


1 Corinthians 15:3-4; For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”


As we approach the last Sunday of this month when we celebrate Easter and the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus, I think it is important to look at how the Resurrection is not just in reference to a couple of chapters in the Bible.


In truth, the whole Bible is about this important event. The Old Testament speaks of how humanity chose to go its own way in the early chapters of Genesis, and the rest of the Old Testament is about God trying to re-establish that relationship between Himself and His people. When we come to the New Testament we read about God’s only Son being sent to this world to be that one final answer for everything God was trying to establish. And with that one sacrifice, Jesus gives to those who believe in His gracious act of taking on all of our sins and dying with them the chance to be reunited with God as His chosen ones once again.


The Apostle Paul records the words “according to the scriptures” twice in this verse. And there is a reason for that! St. Paul is not just referring to those couple of chapters in the Gospel accounts of that last week leading to the Resurrection; He is also referring to all of the things Jesus said that led up to that final week AND to all of the promises and prophecies of the predicted Messiah made hundreds of years before Jesus was even born.


The Apostle Paul was even going way back to the first chapters of the Bible where in Genesis 3:15 God tells Satan; “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” On the day when Jesus died, Satan thought he was triumphant. However in truth, all Satan did was “strike his heel” and when Jesus rose from the dead three days later the victory was with Jesus as the fulfilled prophecy of “he will crush your head.”


This is what we need to remember this season of Lent which prepares us for that exclamation of Easter; ALL of Scripture is about what Jesus accomplished on the Cross which is about re-establishing the relationship between God and His people. Our faith and hope relies completely on all of the promises God has made to us “according to the scriptures.” Have a blessed Lent everyone!!                                                                                                                          Pr. Nick

Lent Continues, Holy Week Approaches

Lent got under way February 13 with Ash Wednesday services reminding us that we are dust, and to dust we shall return.


Special Lenten Services will be held the evenings of March 6, 13 and 20.  Pastor Henseler will continue with his sermon series “Words from the Cross,” in which he is focusing on the proclamations Jesus made in the final hours of his life while dying on the cross.  The sermons explore what Jesus was saying to us with those words, and how those words apply to us today.  Each of those Lenten Services is preceded by a light supper, which will be available between 5 and 6:30 p.m.


Holy Week begins Sunday March 24 with Palm Sunday Service, including the waving palm fronds, during our normal 9 a.m. Sunday worship time.


Maundy Thursday Service will be held jointly with Grace Lutheran Church at 202 West Grand Avenue.  Pastor Henseler will be delivering the sermon at the service which begins at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 28.


A tenebrae service will be held at Faith Lutheran Mission Church at 7 p.m. on Good Friday, March 29. 


Easter Sunday begins with a continental breakfast served from 7:30 until 8:30 a.m., with the Resurrection of our Lord celebrated at 9 a.m. on April 8th.


Please join us, and bring your friends, for this opportunity to bring to our heart the passion story.


Sign-Up Available to Purchase an Easter Lily or Balloon

For Easter Sunday, the sanctuary will be decorated with Easter lilies and balloons purchased by members and friends of the congregation.  There will be sign-up sheets in the bulletin in the weeks leading up to Easter in which you can order a balloon or lily.  The purchase may be dedicated to the memory or in honor of a loved one.


Cost of either a lily or balloon is $9.  You may place the form and your check in the offering plate on Sunday, or give it to an usher on your way out of service.  Checks should be made payable to Faith Lutheran Mission Church.


Third-Graders Receive Bibles

Two third-grade students of Faith Lutheran Mission Chruch’s Sunday School received Bibles in a ceremony during the 9 a.m. Worship Sunday, February 17. 


Pastor Nick Henseler presented the bibles to Logan Stillman, son of Kelly and Erick Stillman, and Madeline DeVries, son of Katie and Kyle DeVries. 


Congratulations to Maddie and Logan, and blessed reading!


Men of Faith Set Monthly Study Breakfast

An organizational gathering of men took place February 11 at Maple Manor Restaurant.  The group of six men decided to meet each month on the 2nd Monday at 8:30 a.m. for breakfast and a study.


The March event will be held Monday, March 11.  Vern Doenier will lead a discussion on “Suffering.”  All men (including guests) are welcome.  Just come to Maple Manor, 2507 South Hastings Way, and look for our group in the back room.


Hannah’s Hands Continues “Giants” Study

Enthusiasm continues to build among the women of Faith Lutheran Mission Church for the current study based on Max Lucado’s book “Facing Your Giants.”  The group meets again at the church on Monday, March 11 at 7 p.m.


Laban Miller to Chair Property Committee

The property committee has a new chair.  Laban Miller will direct the committee, which also consists of LaMoine Parkhurst, Gene Fischer and Roy Christopherson. 


In other property committee news, at the February 18 council meeting, the committee was given authority to spend up to $500 on emergency building repairs as they come up without having to first clear the decision through council.


Fellowship Committee Seeks Volunteers

The fellowship committee is looking for a pool of back-up volunteers for serving food on Sunday morning after church, as well as funerals, weddings and other special events.  Back-ups would be on a list to be called in the event a regular fellowship team member was sick or out-of-town.  If you’d like to be a sub, contact Katie Evans.


Global Outreach for Christ and Bolton Refuge House will be March Mission Targets

Bolton Refuge House of Eau Claire will receive 11% of regular offerings for the month of March as part of Faith Lutheran Mission Church’s mission focus.  Bolton Refuge House provides safe shelter, support groups, economic and legal advocacy, children’s programs and transitional living for abused women and children in the Eau Claire community.


The 10% of offerings dedicated to missions outside our area for March will go to Global Outreach for Christ.  The specific ministry being supported is the work of Bible-translators who are making the Word of God available for the first time in the language of the people native to a region in west Africa.


Including the 2% of offerings dedicated to the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) to support the work done throughout the world by that organization of which Faith Lutheran Mission Church is a member, FLMC sets aside the first 23% of offerings for benevolence each month.


By the way, the Sunday School children have made some beautiful mosquitos (perhaps the first time that adjective has ever been used to describe mosquitos) to adorn the net surrounding the Lutheran Malaria Initiative display in the fellowship hall.  LMI was our international focus during the month of February.


Opportunities Coming to Serve Homeless Families in March

The last week of March offers opportunities for members of Faith Lutheran Mission Church to help the families at Beacon House, the homeless shelter of Eau Claire Interfaith Hospitality Network in downtown Eau Claire. 


If you would like to prepare or serve food, or help as an overnight host, contact Karla Petersen.  If you wish to provide food, let her know what you’d like to make.  If you wish to serve or be an overnight host, let her know what nights you are available between March 24 and March 30.  Watch for further details in the weekly bulletins.


Potter’s Village Land Fund Continues to Seek Donations

The new special fund dedicated to collecting money for a down payment and eventual purchase of land for the Potter’s Village Orphanage in Dodowa, Ghana, Africa continues to be open for donations.  The orphanage has come to be connected with Faith Lutheran Mission Church through Jayne Kallenbach, the daughter of Dean and Sandy, who has served three stints as a volunteer at the orphanage and hopes to return for a fourth tour later this year.


As a special dedicated fund, the Ghana Land fund is set aside from the regular budget so that individuals can contribute above and beyond their normal offering if they so desire.  The fund will also serve as a holding place for other congregations or non-members to make a contribution.  The tentative plan is to disburse the funds when they get up to $6,000 to allow for the down-payment, and then again when the full amount of $12,000 is reached.


Anyone wishing to make a donation to the special fund may designate “Ghana Land Fund” on the memo section of their check, or by placing it in a special offering envelope marked “Ghana Land Fund.”  Donations may also be sent to the Faith Lutheran Mission Church at 1704 Hogeboom Ave, Eau Claire, 54701.


LCMC Church Council Workshops Set for Spring, 2013

Pastor Mark Vander Tieg, National Service Coordinator for Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC), will lead two Church Council Workshops in Wisconsin in the spring of 2003. 


The first event will be hosted by Grace Lutheran Church in Hayward on Saturday, April 6.  The same workshop will be available Saturday, June 1 at Scandinavia Lutheran Church in Scandinavia in central Wisconsin.


The workshops are for church councils, church leaders and pastors; though Pastor Tony Stoutenburg of Grace Lutheran in Hayward says “we are pretty much inviting everybody who is interested.”


Pastor Vander Tuig says helping leaders in the church understand their role and purpose is essential to a healthy, vital and faithful congregation. It is the purpose of the Church Council Workshops to gather as many church council members and other leaders in the church as possible, along with the pastors, to center our ministries on the Great Commission of Matthew 28.

Pastor Vander Tuig has served three congregations over the last 30 years, and has both a Master’s of Divinity and a Master’s degree in Counseling and Psychological Services. Mark has made a study of leadership over the years and desires to see every congregation reflect the grace and mercy of God and to focus on fulfilling the Great Commission in our generation.

Topics for discussion will include:

·       The Purpose of the Church

·       The Great Commission and the role of the Council

·       The Function of Vision and Mission

·       Unity in the Body of Christ and Leadership

·       Coming Together, Accepting our Differences

·       Growing Up into Maturity

Each workshop begins 10:00 AM with a brief devotional, followed by the agenda for the day. Be sure to bring your Bibles!


To register for the Hayward event April 6, RSVP by mail (Grace Lutheran Church, PO Box 881, Hayward, WI 54843) or email at pastor@gracelutheran.hayward.org.  Any questions for the Hayward workshop can be directed to Pastor Stoutenburg at 715-934-2772.  Registration deadline for the Hayward event is March 22.


Registration for the Scandinavia Workshop June 1 has not yet begun as of this writing, but more information can be obtained by contacting Pastor Mark Sabin at scandiluth@tds.net. 


Women’s Conference Set in Rice Lake

Stanfold Lutheran Church in Rice Lake will sponsor a day-long women’s conference with the theme “Mind-Body-Spirit” on Saturday, May 4.  Energetic speakers and inspiring testimonies will be featured, but also included will be wellness advice, craft demonstrations and relaxing chair massages. 


The conference is themed on 1 Thessalonians 5:23:  “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.  May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”


Registration details will be forthcoming.


District Youth Leaders Coalition Being Formed

Efforts are underway to develop a resource area online for youth leaders in the Wisconsin and Upper Peninsula of Michigan District of LCMC to share ideas.


“We thought we can start by adding the youth leaders interested to the (district) website and maybe even build a Facebook group,” said Lisa McCormick, Ministries Coordinator at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church of Tomah.  “Youth leaders can go on there and put out their challenges they are facing, share Sunday School or VBS materials, etc.”


Anyone interested in having their name on the list can send their contact information to either Lisa McCormick (ministries@gloriadeitomah.com) or Jayme Silber at Grace Lutheran Church of Eau Claire (jaymegraceeau@sbcglobal.net).


Chris Conner Accepts Call to Birchwood Congregation

On Sunday, January 13, Trinity Lutheran Church of Birchwood voted to call Pastor Christian Conner at its pastor. 


Within days, Pastor Conner had accepted the call and had moved his wife and four children to Birchwood.  His first service as pastor was February 3.  Formal installation will take place sometime after Easter.


The congregation held a “Hail and Farewell” potluck on the 3rd to bid adieu to Pastor Gerald Hibbard and his wife Shirley, who served as supply pastor over the previous four months. 


Scott Mann Called to Tomah

Pastor Scott Mann was installed as Associate Pastor for Gloria Dei Lutheran Church of Tomah  on Sunday, February 10.


Pastor Mann accepted the call to join Senior Pastor Dave Dahl and the rest of Gloria Dei’s ministry team in November.  He is joined in Tomah by his wife Karen.



A Update from our Church Librarian Dick Buck

New books have been given to the library.  They are Light Your Church on Fire Without Burning It Down and Facing Your Giants.  Thanks to those who gave the books.  Since Facing Your Giants is used as a study guide it will be shelved in the Bible and Study Tools section of the book case.  The other book will be in the Religious section.


If you want to reread or read for the first time a book review, copies of all the book reviews printed in the FLMC Newsletter are available in the library catalog.  The reviews are in the 3-ring binder on top of the book case.  A list of the books reviewed so far is below:

·         What’s Going On Among the Lutherans?  A Comparison of Beliefs

·         Mary Called Magdalene

·         King of Kings (a video)

·         To Heaven and Back

·         Heaven is for Real           

·         Holy Bible, NIV, 2011

·         The Story, the Bible as one continuing story of God and His people

·         When I Lay My Isaac Down, Unshakable Faith in Unthinkable Circumstances


The book review for this month:  The Book of God, The Bible as a Novel.  Walter Wangerin, Jr., 1996.


This book, like The Story reviewed by Joanne Flaten, is the entire story of the Bible.  It is a great historical novel making the men and women of the Bible come alive.  It is arranged in eight parts with four to nine chapters in each part.  The story moves seamlessly from chapter to chapter from each part. 


The first part is about Abraham and his family.  In this section God makes a covenant with Abram.  On page 24 God tells Abram, “Serve me perfectly.  I give you and your descendants all the land of Canaan and as for your wife, Sarah, I will give you a son by her.” 


Abraham was a nomad and moved his flocks to find food and water.  He often was in the land of Canaan and it was there that Sarah died and Abraham bought land and buried her in a cave near the oaks of Mamre.  Page 48 states that Rebekah was buried in the cave with Abraham and Sarah.  The section contains much detail about the families of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph.  When they were slaves of the Egyptians the family became a great nation as promised by God. 


The nation became strong and the Lord led them out of Egypt to Canaan, the Promised Land.

Other parts of the book are The Covenant, The Wars of the Lord, Kings, Prophets, Letters from Exile, The Messiah, John the Son of Zechariah and the New Covenant.


After God’s chosen people had settled in Canaan they still had many trials, often because of their failure to live by God word.  Many times they were taken into exile in other counties to be slaves and Canaan became desolate.  The prophets warned the people of their sinful ways but the people didn’t always listen and sometimes stoned the prophets.  When in exile the prophets would again tell the people to change and honor God.  When they were allowed to return to Canaan, they often had to rebuild their temple and walls around Jerusalem which had been destroyed. 


This seemed to be a cycle.  A record of the times the Israelites sinned, suffered and repented would be interesting. Often other countries ruled Judea and Galilee, such as the Romans during the time of Jesus.  And during the time Jesus was on earth many people were not living by God’s word, especially the Pharisees, Scribes, Priests and others leaders of the Jews who were not performing their duties as they should.  How Jesus reacted to the money changers in the temple is an example of how God was displeased.


God sends his Son, the long awaited Messiah, and the book describes His ministry, the disciples and the people He came in contact with.  The chapter on Mary Magdalene is not so much biographical, but focuses on the interaction she had with Jesus and the disciples.   Pages 690-693 have an interesting dialogue between Jesus and Mary.


In the last chapter Jesus charges his disciples to be His witnesses, preach repentance and the forgiveness of sins.  Paul and the disciples tell the story and the church continues to grow.

This historical novel is exciting and easy to read.  The author magnifies events and provides an insight to the character of prophets and disciples that gives a better understanding of the Bible, especially of the Old Testament.                                                                                     


News and Notes

·         Church cleaning volunteers for March are Kim and Chuck Olson (March 8) and Sarah and Dave Seanor (March 22).  The full list of volunteers and duty specifics are posted through June in the Fellowship Hall.


·         Volunteers are needed to sign up for reading during worship services and for snow shoveling.  Sign-up sheets for either task are available in the Fellowship Hall.


·         If you have prayer request you would like to have made known to the prayer chain, please contact Sylvia Miller at 715-874-5080 or Katie Evans at 715-831-8797.


·         All are welcome to join a brief prayer time that is held five to ten minutes prior to each Sunday morning worship service in the front of the church.


·         Don’t forget—if you miss a service, you now have two choices to catch it.  Video versions of past services are now available at www.faithlutheranmc.org – and are also cablecast each Wednesday night at 8 p.m. on channels 96 or 993.


General Weekly Calendar

(Schedule may vary due to member visitations, evening meetings and special services)


9:00     Worship

10:00   Fellowship & Sunday School


9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Office Hours


10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.     Office Hours

6 p.m. Bible Study, 7 p.m. Worship


10 a.m.-4 p.m. Office Hours


Feel free to check before you stop in by calling Pastor Nick at the Church (715-514-2021) or on his cell (563-676-1853).  You can also email pastornickhenseler@gmail.com.


The Last Word

“Peace if possible, truth at all costs”                                                               Martin Luther